Towns take advantage of mild weather to get ready for winter

NEW LONDON AND WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Winter is only a few weeks away but the warmer temperatures may make it feel like it could be months away and Waterford is taking advantage of this mild weather.

“We have been,” says Kristin Zawacki, Waterford’s public works director. “We’ve done a lot more patching on the roads than we probably would have gotten before, cleaning up of the drainage systems.”

New London has also been clearing drains and has painted green arrows near the center line so the drains will be easier to find on snow covered streets. Plow drivers say the snow melts first in the center of the street.

Brian Sear the city’s public works director says it’s important to always keep the drains clear.

“As the snow and ice melt then it has somewhere to go,” says Sear. “It’s not staying in the road and ponding.”

Plow drivers have gone on some dry runs to make sure there are no tree branches or other obstacles in the way and this year there are two new full size plow trucks and a smaller all wheel drive vehicle. It can be equipped with a snow blower or plow and can get on snow covered sidewalks. 

“That’s one of the areas that there was push back last year in terms of sidewalk and snow removal,” says Sear.

Waterford has a new salt shed which is said to be a lot bigger and better.

It is more than double the size of the the two old sheds put together. They held about a thousand tons of salt. The new one can handle 24-hundred tons.

Once construction is complete salt will be delivered from New London’s state pier.

Last year Waterford used 150 percent of the salt for which it had budgeted. Budgets are based on three year averages so this year they’ll start off with just a little bit more salt than last winter.

“Cause this is going to be the warm winter,” Zawacki says with a chuckle.

Lots of wishful thinking.

“So we’re ready,” says Sear. “Hopefully it will never come.”

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